SpokenWord open mic every Monday, AWOL Writers’ Group every Sunday

This info last updated 18th March 2018. 

SpokenWord Paris is one pole of a nomadic tribe of people who love poetry, writing and song. A home for creatives and lost anglophones. We do an open mic night called SpokenWord every Monday au Chat Noir and an allied writers’ workshop at Shakespeare & Company (every Sunday.) We do a literary journal called The Bastille and Tightrope Books published many of us in the book “Strangers in Paris.” Click on the blue stamp on the right to sign up to the mailing list.

Open mic/scène ouverte: Performance poetry. Lire vivant. Poésie sonore. Stand up. Monologue. Stories. Beat poetry. Spoken word. English. Français. Your own original texts. Old texts from Rimbaud to Dr Seuss, Beowulf to Gil Scott-Heron. Chacun a son mot à dire. Make the words come alive…………………….. Acoustic songs also welcome.

SpokenWord Sounds
Some podcasts from Monday nights au Chat Noir, by Victor. Listen or download here.

Starts again 4th Sept. Then every Monday Au Chat Noir, 76 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud 75011. Métro Parmentier/Couronnes. Sign up 8pm to 9.30pm in the bar. Poetics start from 8.30pm underground. Check out the Practical info page for more info. Paris’ biggest and longest-running English open mic night, started in 2006. All langues welcome. Entry one euro.

Check next week’s theme here

AWOL Writers’ Group – free!
6.30pm-8.30pm every Sunday at Shakespeare & Company, 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005. Free. Bring your writing or just come and listen join the discussion. Hosted by Bruce Sherfield and Simon Millward. Description Join us afterwards for a drink.

Chat Noir sketch drawn by Allison Iwata.

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SpokenWord on Monday 23rd April: Insults, Shakespearean and otherwise.

Thou cream faced loon!

You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I’ll tickle your catastrophe!

There’s no more faith in thee than in a stewed prune!

It’s Shakespeare’s birthday (and deathday) once again so at SpokenWord we’re celebrating with a theme of:

Insults, Shakespearean and otherwise 

It’s 11 years and more since I started this open mic night in Paris and for once it’s come round on the day that also happens to be my birthday. So for as far as I can remember the first time, I’m gonna take the stage for the featured poet spot myself instead of just having 5 minutes. And I’ll read some things new and most likely some old favourites.

It’s brought me so much poetry and joy and friends and drunken nights and fun and even the occasional lover, this SpokenWord Paris night. Long may it continue and many thanks to all of you who’ve sailed with me on these Monday nights and whose company has made Paris so much of what it has been for me. Without you, this would not have become home, where the wandering stopped and poetry grew and flourished.

What? Oh, yes, I’ll be 47.

And not cycling home drunk (and falling off my bike twice) like my 40th, celebrated at SpokenWord back in the day when we did it at the Culture Rapide.

Drop in, come down, and raise a glass or share an insult, Shakespearean or otherwise!

Cheers all,

David Barnes


Thou sodden-witted lord! Thou hast no more brain than I have in mine elbows!

Thou art as loathsome as a toad! I do desire we may be better strangers! Your virginity breeds mites, much like a cheese.


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Carl Watson to Guest at SpokenWord Paris April 16th–Monday’s Theme: Film

Photo on 10-28-15 at 1.32 PMCarl Watson is a poet, fiction writer, playwright and critic.  He grew up in Northwest Indiana and has since lived in Portland Oregon, New Orleans, Chicago, New York and Paris. He has traveled extensively in India and other parts east of the Atlantic.  He currently splits his time between NYC and an old barn in the Catskill Mountains.  Watson has written cultural criticism and reviews for various journals including The Village Voice, NY Press, Downtown, Tribes, and The Williamsburg Observer. He is the author of several books of fiction, including Bricolage ex Machina (Lost Modern Press), Beneath the Empire of the Birds (Apathy Press), The Hotel of Irrevocable Acts (Autonomedia), and Backwards the Drowned Go Dreaming, a novel published by Sensitive Skin Books.  He has also published several collections of poetry, including Anarcadium Pan (Erie Street Press), Living for the Ecstasy Sect, Confessions of an Aspirin Eater, The Green Man (Apathy)Astral Botanica, is published by Fly by Night Press, the imprint of A Gathering of the Tribes. His latest collection Pareidolia (Autonomdeia)..  He has been published in various journals including Sensitive Skin, The Brooklyn Rail, Evergreen Review, Degraphe, La Liberation and others. The novel Hotel des acts irrevocables (Gallimard) and the short story collections Sous l’empire des oiseaux, la vie psychosomatique, and Hank Stone et le coeur de craie (vagabonde)have been published in France. Vagabonde press will publish the novel Backwards the Drowned Go Dreaming in 2016.
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Best performance prize €50 

Throughout April we’re running a competition for best performance with a prize of €50  each Monday at SpokenWord.

Any performance counts – poetry, prose, music.

Any language.

Be at the Chat Noir at 8pm to sign up – look for Rose or David in a hat.

Spread the word, especially among your poet & writer friends!

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Moe Seager to Guest at SpokenWord Paris April 9th–Monday’s Theme: I Care

181258_10150994292382423_996827985_nMoe Seager has published 5 books of poetry and will issue his next collection with Onslaught press, Oxford, U.K. Seager also leads jazz ensembles in Paris and New York and other cities as a singing jazz poet. He is the host of the Paris poetry series Angora Poets. His work has been published by le Ministère de la Culture France. His work has been translated into French and Arabic by Cairo press, Egypt. Seager won a Golden Quill award for investigative journalism and a Human Rights award from the University of Pittsburgh

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Iris Colomb to Guest at SpokenWord Paris April 2nd–Monday’s Theme: Repetition

IMG_2451Iris Colomb is an artist, poet, curator, and translator based in London. Throughout her practice she explores different relationships between form and content, applying a design approach to poetic projects. She has given individual, collaborative and interactive performances in both France and the UK (including the Royal Court Theater, the Arnolfini, and Tate Modern). Her poems have been published in Zarf, Pocket Litter and Datableed; and her co-translation, with Elliot Koubis, of Guillaume Apollinaire’s ‘The Stories and Adventures of the Baron d’Ormesan’, was published by Ampersand in 2017.
Iris has been resident artist and poet at the Centre For Recent Drawing, she is now the art Editor of Haverthorn magazine, and a member of the interdisciplinary collective ‘No Such Thing’. Her work has been showcased in the collective exhibition ‘We Fiddle While Rome Burns’ (Donetsk 2014), sold at auction in Versailles (2015), and ‘Semechki’ (Семечки), her collaboration with Russian poet Eta Dahlia, has recently been exhibited at the National Poetry Library. She also curates events seeking possibilities beyond the traditional format of poetry readings, each of which acts as a separate live experiment, linking poetry and other art-forms such as film, visual arts, sound, and design.

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Bethlehem Daniel to Guest at SpokenWord Paris March 26th–Monday’s Theme: Art

FullSizeRender (8)Bethlehem aka Bett is a community arts organizer from Portland, Oregon. Her and her cosmic sisters started an underground open mic, Deep Underground, in a basement of a special home we call Lost House. DUG has grown to doing open mics with 250 people and shows with over 1200 people.  DUG has catalyzed her love words and the lasting bind they create between people for word is bond. Her work is inspired by everything from the four elements to the moles on peoples faces to the eloquent carving that is the human body. She prefers her pictures written and there for writes pictures. Feel free to check out the community work being done in Portland on instagram as @deepunderground. She’s believes that all you speak lasts forever and that we all meet each other intentional words in this life over and over again.

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Ray Knight to Guest at SpokenWord Paris March 19th–Monday’s Theme: Reparation / Renewal

Cocaine80s7Ray Knight, the rapper and enigmatic figure, travelling the world while creating music for you to not only hear but to experience. 

Never one to be placed in a box, his sound is as diverse as his talents. A sound influenced by his California upbringing, Jamaican roots, and world travels. This is what hip hop is supposed to be, soulful, funky, poetic, and raw. His live performances can best be described as a cosmic experience on a human level. His lyrics designed to liberate, inspire, and expand your mind.

He provides his audiences with the nourishment they didn’t know they were missing, while teleporting them to a world they never knew existed. 

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Tommy Sissons to Guest at SpokenWord Paris March 12th–Monday’s Theme: Childhood

colour 4Tommy Sissons is a 22-year-old award-winning poet and playwright. He is the 2014 Slambassadors national slam champion, runner-up in the 2016 Roundhouse Poetry Slam and a two-time regional Hammer and Tongue slam champion. He has performed in venues across the UK such as the Royal Albert Hall, the Roundhouse Theatre and the Birmingham Reparatory Theatre, in addition to festivals such as Latitude, Bestival, Camp Bestival, the Edinburgh Fringe and Boomtown. He is also the narrator of Channel 4’s award-winning TV series ‘Four to the Floor’. Other clients of his include BBC Radio 1, Red Bull, VICE Magazine, the Imperial War Museum, the National Trust and the Guardian. His poetry has been studied by creative writing and literature students at the University of Trier in Germany and in addition to this, he has taught spoken word at the V&A Museum and a variety of educational institutes across the country. His debut poetry collection ‘Goodnight Son’ was published by Bx3/Burning Eye Books in June 2016 and his debut album ‘We Were All Mud and Halos’ was released via QM Records in January 2018.

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Rob Reeves to Guest at SpokenWord Paris March 5th–Monday’s Theme: Drinking

RobReeves1Rob Reeves is a poet and musician who splits his time between Northamptonshire and Leicester. In October 2016, he was commissioned by BBC Local to write a poem for National Poetry Day on a subject connected to Northamptonshire. Focusing on the local shoe industry, Rob wrote ‘To a Shoe’, the resulting video of which has had over 36,000 views on Facebook. Rob started writing poetry in 2012 when he was taking his MA in Modern Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Leicester, where he is now currently taking his PhD in Creative Writing. Rob writes about the important things in life – relationships, drinking, shoes – as well as anything else that takes his fancy. His PhD thesis is a creative work on themes of isolation in the modern world. He tends not to perform these poems though as people are generally out for a good night and he doesn’t want to ruin it.  In 2013, he moved to Paris where he first began performing poetry at SpokenWord Paris. After returning to the UK, he set up his own spoken word and poetry night, Run Your Tongue, which has since seen Attila the Stockbroker, Jonah Matranga, Ash Dickinson, Mark Grist and Jess Green all come through its doors as well as providing a platform for local poets, comedians and musicians. What seems a lifetime ago now, he – along with his band – toured with Napalm Death and Megadeth, played at Reading and Leeds festivals and supported Slayer at Wembley Arena. His music has somewhat mellowed out since then, mainly because it’s just him now and he can’t make as much noise on his own.  His first collection of poetry, Some Poems, is now available through 3P Publishing, and an EP of songs entitled Some Songs will be released in March 2018.


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Daniel Wilner to Guest at SpokenWord February 26th–Monday’s Theme: Dreams

IMG_20180208_165447_1.jpgDaniel Wilner is a degenerate and a gentleman. Known as Uncle Lush, he comprises one half of the Brooklyn-based rap group Brotherz Grimm, and has performed at NYC open mics like the Nuyorican, The Art of Lyrics, and End of the Weak, as well as Paris Lit Up for the past year. He is a slang aficionado and battle rap manufacturer, ill drunken master of freestyling, and all around pretty nice guy.

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